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Tornado touches down west of the Island of Montreal

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The fire department in Rigaud, Que. is investigating after reports of a tornado touching down in the municipality west of the Island of Montreal that caused damage to multiple homes.

Environment and Climate Change Canada confirmed the presence of a tornado Monday night.

Rigaud Mayor Marie-Claude Frigault's communications chief Genevieve Hamel said a silo was knocked down on Petit Brule Street near the Ontario border.

Quebec provincial police (SQ) confirmed that they received several calls from the region reporting funnel clouds touching down.

St. Lazare resident Baradaran Glady was on the road to pick up her dog Buster at a doggy daycare when the funnel formed in front of her car. 

"The road we were taking was blocked by a broken tree and we could see the tornado," she said. "Then again, another one started while we were driving that direction. It was scary."

Damage caused by the storm in Rigaud, Que. on May 27, 2024. (Baradaran Glady)

Environment Canada meteorologist Jean-Philippe Begin says the agency received multiple images and videos, and they are authentic.

Begin says teams, in collaboration with Western University in Ontario, are still investigating how intense the tornado was.

A funnel cloud formed in Rigaud on May 27, 2024 and appears to have caused damage in the Quebec municipality west of Montreal. (Baradaran Glady)

Hamel said there are four homes that were damaged near the Ski Mont-Rigaud hill as well.

There are no reports of injuries and the fire department is investigating. 

Destruction everywhere

The following day, Daniel Gelinas surveyed the damage in his yard in Tres-Saint-Redempteur, just south of Rigaud.

"Everything that we've built over the last four years, and it's all over the place," he said. "It's literally everything is taken apart and destroyed."

The roof of his home has been ripped off and his garage and backyard balcony has gone.

He said it all happened very fast.

Christian Carriere's story is similar.

"We went down the basement [and] 30 seconds after that, we went outside. It was done," said the farmer.

The damage to the Carriere family farm is massive.

"The machine to empty the corn is about 1,500 pounds. It was, we supposed lifted off by the tornado, and it hit the blue silo," said Richard Carriere.

Be prepared

Tres-Saint-Redempteur Mayor Julie Lemieux is urging residents to be prepared for future disasters.

"Have an emergency kit to last at lease 72 hours," she said.

Gelinas agrees.

"Having the 72 hour safety kit in the house ready to go if you need it, I'm starting to see a lot of value in that," he said. 

With reporting from CTV News Montreal journalist Matt Grillo.

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